Rapping and Learning About Our Solar System | Community Idea Stations

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Rapping and Learning About Our Solar System

Joe Beasley is a 5th-grade teacher at Goochland Elementary School who uses his musical talents to write fun, content-centered songs that kids love. Beasley teaches his students original song lyrics and pairs them with physical actions- also known as kinesthetic learning. This helps his students, of all ability levels, to actively - and energectically - engage in classroom learning that sticks with them.

The students in the video below have been studying about our Solar System in preparation for their SOL (Standards of Learning) tests this year. And as you might expect, his students had a higher level of recall of the grade level content.

Science is a passion for Beasley - as is music and rapping with his students. You will often find him dressed in a lab coat, jumping around the classroom and contemplating the theories of the universe! Don't you want to go back to school?

What do Beasley's students have to say about his musical teaching strategies?

  • “Instead of reading my notes, the songs get me excited. It’s more fun because you just get to have a tune in your head.”
  • “If I’m on a question on a test and I start singing the songs through my head, then the song will give me the answer most of the time.”
  • “You learn in a unique way. It gets us up and moving around.”

Download the lyrics to “The 8 Planets” (PDF).

Joe Beasley was selected as a PBS Digital Innovator in 2017. Click here for Joe’s story.